Eating out is likely to get even more expensive in the coming days, with city restaurants considering raising prices by a minimum of 20%, citing rising costs.
“Food inflation has been continuous. Restaurant businesses have faced an increase of at least 30-40% in all expenses, including ingredients, fuel, electricity, water charges and manpower. To cope with this, restaurant owners will have to increase charges by at least 20%,” Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association (AHAR) president Arvind Shetty said.
Restaurants in Mumbai revise their charges annually, normally in the last quarter.
The biggest hit has come from onion prices, with some eateries charging extra to serve it on the side, or cutting corners by replacing them with radishes in dishes.
“We have stopped putting onions in side salads; we now provide them on demand, but charge an extra Rs10 for 8 to 10 slices,’’ said Ramchandra M, manager, Modern restaurant, Parel.
Hoteliers are also skimping by using cheaper vegetables such as tomato or cabbage extensively, and many said they had switched to frozen peas, instead of the more expensive fresh ones.
“We do not advise our members to cut back on service or food quality by adopting such methods. Instead, we advise them to balance their profits by revising the menu pricing. Restaurant owners cannot sustain their business for long with these increased costs, they will have to pass it on to the customer,” added Shetty.